Ghost of honor at SFeraKon 2016.
Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić is the most read and most translated Croatian children’s author, and her characters Stribor, Regoč, Wee Tintilinkie and the Brownies, apprentice Lapitch or fisherman Plunk made many childhoods a bit more magical. She is often called the Croatian Christian Andersen and this year we are celebrating a hundred years from the publication of her most renowned work, Tales of Long Ago. It is no wonder that her works earned her four Nobel prize in literature nominations! Ivana was born in Ogulin, on 18 April, 1874 and died in Zagreb in 1938. She grew up with her grandfather, the famous poet and Croatian ban Ivan Mažuranić. Raised amidst fabulous art and literature she developed love for the written word herself. She started writing quite late, some ten years after she got married. Although she felt a need to express herself in literature, she preferred family life and dedicated herself to raising her six children (seven, by some accounts). She let her writer’s ambition flourish when she noticed there is not enough quality reading for children. In the beginning she wrote for her family only, but with time she wrote for all the kids in the world; her characters today speak in 40 different languages. Her international breakthrough came with The Brave Adventures of Lapitch, and her masterpiece was Tales of Long Ago, a book that gave faith in elementary human values to both children and grown-ups. Her stories are rich with Slavic mythology and Croatian folk legends, beautiful visuals, intimate and direct sincerity that speaks to our pure inner child, the one that knows and understands.